Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Black Sesame Otsu

[Photographs: Heidi Swanson]

A bowl of cold soba noodles are perfect hot weather eating, as we established yesterday. Mild and nutty, hearty and cooling all at once, we could really eat the noodles all summer long with no complaints. Heidi Swanson's version of soba from Super Natural Every Day dresses quick-cooked and quick-chilled buckwheat noodles with a nutty dressing of black sesame, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts sweetened with sugar and spiced with cayenne. Little matchsticks of flash-fried tofu and thinly sliced scallions are mixed in too.

As is, this Black Sesame Otsu is a fantastic dish, cool and satisfying with deeply layered flavors and textures. But you could also replace the tofu with any protein (imagine soy poached chicken), add more vegetables (blanched bok choy or broccoli rabe worked particularly well), and make the dressing sweeter, more sour or savory depending on what you're looking for (adding a bit of miso or fish sauce certainly wouldn't hurt).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Super Natural Every Day to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson and her blog, 101 Cookbooks. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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